Tomorrow's trends are already in sight

No one can predict what the future will bring, but some things are clear: it will be more urban, mobile and connected. Urbanisation, mobility and connectivity – three megatrends from a future world that has already long since begun, which require us to develop solutions based on innovative interaction. The housing industry can count on us as a reliable partner – as it has done for 100 years.

Anyone in the housing sector or related industries who wants to deal successfully with the megatrends – and mega-challenges – of the future needs one thing in particular: new ideas and the courage to change. In the Banking & Digital Solutions segment of Aareal Bank, we see ourselves as a partner that hopes to open up new prospects. That means we don't just support our clients in the housing and energy sectors in making their processes more efficient today – we also look into the future. What will be the key megatrends in the property industry and how can our clients benefit from them?

The City is Yours: the megatrend of urbanisation

Even if the coronavirus pandemic brought about a return to country living, the global trend in the direction of cities is irreversible, with more and more people being drawn to the world's metropolises. These cities will not only need to become larger and offer more housing and working space in future – they will also have to become more clever and sustainable, ensure a better quality of life and remain "accessible".

To meet the growing requirements of future urban living environments, we need to make cities smarter. For the housing industry, that means energy-efficient new buildings and climate-friendly renovations, as well as a stronger focus on services for tenants, with simple, automated processes via an app, digital communications, transparent, consumption-based billing and maintenance and a wide range of new services. For energy providers, which are playing a key part in shaping the transition to green energy, new decentralised opportunities will arise through e.g. smart grids, enabling them to offer a sustainable energy supply and go beyond their traditional role as utility companies to become modern infrastructure, energy and service providers.

Everywhere all the time: the megatrend of mobility

Mobility is a megatrend that has been gaining momentum for some time. People and goods are transported by road, rail, water and air – here, there and everywhere, with great precision and right on time. And, of course, with no CO2 emissions where possible. The debate about how we will travel around in future, and how our infrastructure will need to change, is in full swing.

What we do know is that these clever connections between very different modes of transport will become even more critical in future: covering cars, bicycles, local public transport and pedestrians, with sharing models for two- or four-wheeled vehicles. The cities of the future will be less car-centric and will instead offer more space for other means of transport. That sounds good, but it also involves a lot of work. Only with closer cooperation between car manufacturers, energy service providers, the property industry and local authorities can this transition be achieved successfully and mobility turned into true "progress".

Connected world(s): the megatrend of connectivity

"Progress" will also mean being connected everywhere in future. Every one of us experiences the megatrend of connectivity every day: we see it as completely normal to meet online, access data and services wherever we are, use smart tools to manage appliances and our entire homes remotely. There are virtually no areas that will not be connected in future. This profound change will, of course, also affect the housing and energy sectors. Concepts like smart living and smart building will bring digitalisation into tenants' homes, and automated controls will increase the efficiency of buildings, reducing costs and greenhouse gas emissions. In the realm of property, the Internet of Things (IoT) – smart, connected devices and AI-based services – will become the standard. Connectivity, smart monitoring of buildings and the provision and recording of data will enable us to understand buildings better in future.

Collaboration is the future

Three megatrends – and endless challenges for the stakeholders in, and designers of, our cities. This calls for innovative solutions, which, as so often in life, can best be found together. Urbanisation, mobility and connectivity in particular require cross-sector thinking and action. The housing and energy industries will ideally work hand in hand to ensure a successful transformation, following a digitally connected, data-based approach. That is the only way to create optimum and efficient processes that fit together cleverly.

Aareal is there for you, as it has been for 100 years

For a century, we have seen it as our mission to identify trends, challenges and opportunities at an early stage and to use them for the benefit of our clients. On this basis, we develop innovative software products, digital solutions and payment transaction applications for our clients in our Banking & Digital Solutions segment. We form a bridge between the housing and energy industries, evolving in step with our clients and related sectors. Innovative, with expert knowledge of the industry and cutting-edge technology, developing clever solutions today for the challenges and megatrends of the future. Successful together for 100 years.

With WE-Thinkfuture, we have created a format in which we regularly look at trends and future prospects in more detail and analyse them. Futurologists, people with practical experience and start-ups offer fascinating insights and work out what opportunities these could lead to for the property industry. Think outside the box and come and talk to us. To find out what happens next – in every respect – go to: WE.thinkfuture magazine (in German only)


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Yannick Houdard

Yannick Houdard
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